February 28, 2009

Dill Encrusted Salmon

I think one of the best herbs that go well with salmon is dill. It has a citrusy taste that brightens up the taste of that fish. I use dill often when cooking (after parsley), even in vegetarian food. Herbs just freshen up and bring a whole other dimension of flavor to a dish.

Here, before pan-frying these pieces of salmon, I seasoned and then encrusted them with dill. When cooked, the herb will stick to the fish. However, be careful not to flip the fish too many times (I flipped it once, twice the most), because the fish will break and the herb will fall off. Just fry one side for a few minutes and then repeat for the other side.

Before serving, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over them and enjoy with rice.

February 27, 2009

Aloo Tikki Burger!

Aloo tikki burger with lots of Indian spices and encrusted with poppy seeds before cooking.

In the picture, I topped it with tomato and black bean salsa, but I had another tikki burger the next day, and I topped that with horseradish hummus, a fried egg, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Both versions were good.

What I liked about this burger are the spices. It is one of those food that gets better with time, because the burger I had the next day was so awesomely spicy. To make it, I think you should mix the aloo with spices the night before, or at least a few hours ahead. That would give time for the spices do its thing- the garam masala to release its flavor, the chilies to mingle with the cumin and potatoes, etc.

Sticky Rice Cake- Baby Banana Filling

This cake is called 'banh tet' and you have it with tea during the Vietnamese New Year (Tet). However, I felt like drinking chai, so I made a REALLY spicy chai to have with the sticky rice cake. Even though I used regular Tazo chai mix, the brewing, the milk, and the ginger made it into a great drink. The sticky cake had a banana/tea flavor on the outside, and had freshly grated coconut and black beans mixed into the sticky rice part. Baby bananas made up the filling, and it became red from braising for hours.

This is one of my favorite things about Vietnamese New Year- making AND eating sticky rice cake. I prefer this sweet banana filling to the dense savory filling of mung beans and pork.

Though, the savory version is also very good when pan-fried up and served with pickled shallots, thai chili peppers, and pickled crunchy cauliflower. Mmm!

February 26, 2009

Lunch: Tomatoes 'n Eggs

Tomatoes, onions, and eggs. Very good with rice, and nothing complicated.

February 25, 2009

Challah French Toast Waffles

What to do when you really want a waffles for brunch, but also really want to make french toast, because you have Challah bread? Well, if there are lots of people around, I'd make both (to eat both) because I'm a little piggy. But since it's just my sister and I, I made challah french toast in a waffle machine. It turned out really good too!

I gave the french toast extra flavor by adding the zest of an orange and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. For the sauce, there wasn't any maple syrup in the house (not a fan of it much anyway) so I made some dulce de leche to drizzle on top. You can buy it in a jar, or just slowly cook it on the stove. It is very simple.

The orange zest added a taste of freshness to the french toast. I think I made a bit too much dulce de leche though. There is still too much left in the fridge currently, and I may need to turn that into dulce de leche cupcakes... ^_^

Soaked challah, with flecks of orange zest, ready for waffling!

The challah bread I used was simply a knotted challah bread bun from TJ's. I split it in half, so that each piece is about 1/2 inch think. It's the right thinkness to make french toast waffles.

This is just a technique post, so I don't think there's a need for a recipe. You can flavor the french toast anyway you want. With chili flakes, stuffed with cheese, encrusted with herbs, cinnamon-banana, different bread, etc. Limitless. I know I'll be having fun with the waffle machine.

P.S. Thanks again Kiwi, for the waffle machine. :)

February 18, 2009

Sunday Crepes

It's been over a year since I last made crepes, I think. I made these again a few weeks ago, and they were very good with chili sauce and herbs. The cucumbers were there to cool me down, in case I couldn't handle the spice. :D

NO, no! Actually, you eat crepes with cucumbers, mustard greens, and herbs. I love having them with mustard greens, because you get the different kinds of spice in just one bite. Hot and sour from the Sriracha-garlic-lime sauce and a peppery wasabi taste from the mustard greens.

The crepes were awesome, but I made too much... Took 3 days for 2 people to finish them. I think I'm all creped out 'til next year. Too bad I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the meat crepes my sister also made side-by-side on the stove next to me. Those meat crepes had minced pork, shrimps, bean sprouts, and mung beans in them. She, too, was sick of crepes, still having to finish them 5 days later. Next time, we'll scale back the portions. :)